Friday, April 30, 2010

The Geneology of Jewish Rock

The Diaspora Yeshiva Band is one of the legendary bands of the Jewish music scene. Founded in the early 1970's by Avraham Rosenblum and Ruby Harris, it was, arguably, the first Jewish rock band. This afternoon, while looking for something else, I ran across an article by Ruby Harris about DYB.
"Almost parallel to the first Rock’n Roll stars and their society, the union of Rock with Jews didn’t come so smoothly, it was a rocky road at first, particularly in the years roughly from 1973-1982. Jewish music didn’t catch up with the rest of the world so fast. I remember one time we were doing a concert at the Jerusalem Theater and after the show someone comes up to us and emotionally expressed his disapproval of the Holy words being fused with rock sounds (Elvis and Ray Charles got the same reaction)."
In addition to his version of the history of DYB (which is a bit different than Roensblum's version) it includes this fantastic "Genealogy of Jewish Rock."

Genealogy of Jewish Rock
It's a bit idosyncratic, but's good fun none-the-less. I haven't been able to find a video of DYB playing, and Ruby Harris's videos focus on his other music interests. But here's Avraham Rosenblum, father of Jewish rock, in action.

Avraham Rosenblum. Tzadik

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